Zinc For Hair Loss: How It Works, Benefits, And Side Effects
Learn everything about this essential nutrient and its role in your hair health.
Zinc for hair loss has become a potential treatment. We often see people consuming zinc supplements to improve hair loss. We know that nutrients are essential for hair growth, but do you know how zinc is beneficial and what exactly it does for hair loss? This article discusses all the benefits of zinc on hair and how zinc deficiency affects hair health. Read on.
What Is It?
A trace mineral generally found in poultry, red meat, and fish.
What Are Its Benefits?
It supports hair growth, strengthens hair follicles, and increases hair thickness.
Who Can Use It?
Zinc supplements can be consumed by all in moderation unless they are allergic to zinc.
It can be taken every day; however, the dosage depends on the recommendation of your healthcare provider.
Excess consumption of zinc is unsafe and may cause vomiting, stomach pain, indigestion, diarrhea, and headache. It may also interact with certain medications.
In This Article
Zinc Deficiency And Hair Loss
Research shows that zinc deficiency may cause hair loss (1). Such hair loss can most often be treated with zinc supplementation. In another study, participants with male pattern hair loss, female pattern hair loss, and telogen effluviumi XA temporary condition where hair begins to fall out two to three months following a stressful event or bodily change, such as childbirth or surgery. were deficient in zinc (2). Individuals with alopecia areata (an autoimmune disease that leads to patchy hair loss in a roundish configuration) were also found to have low zinc levels (3).
While zinc seems to have an important role in combating hair loss, more research is warranted. Other studies suggest no significant relationship between zinc deficiency and hair loss (1), (4), (5).
If you are wondering how zinc can improve your hair, here are some of its benefits.
Benefits Of Zinc For Hair
- A study showed that alopecia areata may be treated with zinc supplementation (6). Nine out of 15 participants in the study showed improved hair growth with regular intake of zinc supplements.
- Another study used oral supplementation of chelated zinc paired with regular applications of topical minoxidil (7). The chelated zinc played an important role in hair growth in female pattern hair loss.
- Zinc contains enzymes crucial for certain functional activities in the hair follicles (7). The nutrient also helps inhibit hair follicle regression and may accelerate the healing of hair follicles.
- Oral zinc sulfate can help treat patchy alopecia areata with a low relapse rate after cessationi XA process of reducing or ending hair loss by effective medication and dietary changes to regrow hair. of the treatment (8).
- Oral L-cystinei XA form of non-essential amino acid if taken as medication with zinc which promotes hair regrowth and strengthening. , when combined with zinc, can treat diffuse alopecia. It also can increase hair count, improve hair density, and boost keratin content (9).
- Topical and oral supplementation of zinc is said to impact hair loss and promote hair growth. Zinc may inhibit 5-alpha reductase, an enzyme that may disrupt hair growth. Zinc also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that may promote hair growth (9).
- Zinc chelates paired with pyrithionei XIt is used to prepare zinc pyrithione which is antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antifungal and used to treat dandruff. may be used as a treatment for dandruff (9).
- Zinc is an enzyme activator. It activates protein transformation necessary for hair building (10).
- Zinc deficiencies might diminish hair health and make hair brittle (11). This problem may be treated with zinc supplementation
- Free radicals cause oxidative damage and lead to hair loss. Zinc, being an antioxidant, can help balance the production of free radicals (11).
One of the best ways to avoid a zinc deficiency is to consume more foods rich in zinc. Here are some food options you can consider adding to your everyday diet.
Foods Rich In Zinc
A diet low in zinc can cause hair loss and make hair brittle (11). You can counter this by consuming fish and meat, which are rich in zinc (1). Oysters, red meat, and poultry are the best sources of zinc (12). Vegetables and grains are comparatively lower in zinc. Other zinc-rich foods include crabs, lobster, dairy products, beans, nuts, and fortified breakfast cereals
|Foods Rich In Zinc|
|Food||Milligrams (mg) per serving||Percent DV*|
|Oysters, cooked, breaded and fried, 3 ounces||74||673|
|Beef chuck roast, braised, 3 ounces||7||64|
|Crab, Alaska king, cooked, 3 ounces||6.5||59|
|Beef patty, broiled, 3 ounces||5.3||48|
|Lobster, cooked, 3 ounces||3.4||31|
|Pork chop, loin, cooked, 3 ounces||2.9||26|
|Baked beans, canned, plain or vegetarian, ½ cup||2.9||26|
|Breakfast cereal, fortified with 25% of the DV for zinc, 1 serving||2.8||25|
|Chicken, dark meat, cooked, 3 ounces||2.4||22|
|Pumpkin seeds, dried, 1 ounce||2.2||20|
|Yogurt, fruit, low fat, 8 ounces||1.7||15|
|Cashews, dry roasted, 1 ounce||1.6||15|
|Chickpeas, cooked, ½ cup||1.3||12|
|Cheese, Swiss, 1 ounce||1.2||11|
|Oatmeal, instant, plain, prepared with water, 1 packet||1.1||10|
|Milk, low-fat or non fat, 1 cup||1||9|
|Almonds, dry roasted, 1 ounce||0.9||8|
|Kidney beans, cooked, ½ cup||0.9||8|
|Chicken breast, roasted, skin removed, ½ breast||0.9||8|
|Cheese, cheddar or mozzarella, 1 ounce||0.9||8|
|Peas, green, frozen, cooked, ½ cup||0.5||5|
|Flounder or sole, cooked, 3 ounces||0.3||3|
Zinc Dosage For Hair
Following are the adequate zinc dosage values recommended by the Food and Nutrition Board (12):
|Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for Zinc|
|0 – 6 months||2 mg*||2 mg*|
|7 – 12 months||3 mg||3 mg|
|1 – 3 years||3 mg||3 mg|
|4 – 8 years||5 mg||5 mg|
|9 – 13 years||8 mg||8 mg|
|14 – 18 years||11 mg||9 mg||12 mg||13 mg|
|19+ years||11 mg||8 mg||11 mg||12 mg|
Excess intake of zinc can lead to zinc toxicity. It can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, and abdominal cramps (12).
It is also advisable to check with a doctor before taking zinc supplements with medications. Certain medications may react adversely with zinc. Antibiotics can inhibit zinc absorption. Diureticsi XAny ingredient or drug that encourages diuresis (excessive urine production) to flush out excess salt and water from the body. may reduce zinc levels in the body and cause a deficiency. Zinc may also reduce the absorption and activity of penicillaminei XA medication used to remove excess copper from the bloodstream and reduce swelling and pain during arthritis. , hindering rheumatoid arthritisi XAn autoimmune condition that causes persistent inflammation and affects the tissue on both sides of joints, especially the hands and feet, and hair loss. treatment (12).
- Zinc is an essential nutrient for hair health, and a deficiency may lead to hair loss and damage.
- Topical and oral zinc supplementation can help improve hair growth, count, density, and keratin content.
- Oysters, red meat, poultry, beans, nuts, and vegetables are common sources of dietary zinc.
- It is recommended to consult a doctor before starting zinc supplements with any other health concerns or in combination with other medicines.
Zinc plays an important role in combating hair loss. Using zinc for hair loss can be a good idea as it is proven to have treated hair loss problems in people with alopecia areata. According to anecdotal evidence, regular zinc supplementation may also improve hair growth. Consuming a zinc-rich diet like crabs, fish, nuts, beans, lobster, dairy products, and cereals may help combat hair loss issues. You may also make a few lifestyle changes and maintain a healthy sleep pattern to keep your hair issues at bay.
Frequently Asked Questions
What happens if you take zinc every day?
You can have zinc daily so long as it is within the recommended dosage. Excess intake may lead to vomiting, stomach issues, and other health problems.
When should I take zinc in the morning or night?
Zinc can be taken at any time of the day. However, you should not take it on an empty stomach as it may upset the stomach.
Can zinc cause blood clots?
Zinc deficiency may lead to blood clots and other irregularities.
Is it OK to take vitamin C and zinc together?
Yes. It is alright to consume vitamin C with zinc, provided they are within their recommended dosage.
Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.
- The Role of Vitamins and Minerals in Hair Loss: a Review,
- Analysis of Serum Zinc and Copper Concentrations in Hair Loss,
- The Role of Micronutrients in Alopecia Areata: a Review,
- Comparison of Zn, Cu, and Fe Content in Hair and Serum in Alopecia Areata Patients With Normal Group,
- Element Concentrations in Serum, Erythrocytes, Hair and Urine of Alopecia Patients,
- The Therapeutic Effect and the Changed Serum Zinc Level After Zinc Supplementation in Alopecia Areata Patients Who Had a Low Serum Zinc Level,
- A Pilot Study of the Efficacy in Treatment of Female Pattern Hair Loss Using 5% Minoxidil Solution Combined With Oral Chelated Zinc Supplement,
- The Therapeutic Effect and the Changed Serum Zinc Level after Zinc Supplementation in Alopecia Areata Patients Who Had a Low Serum Zinc Level,
- Complementary and Alternative Treatments for Alopecia: a Comprehensive Review,
- Efficacy of Alimental Components in an Oral Supplement for the Treatment of Hair Fall, Hair Growth, Skin & Nail Problems and Role of Hairvit Plus in Their Composition Upgradation,
- Diet and Hair Loss: Effects of Nutrient Deficiency and Supplement Use,